Zach Scruggs pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony, meaning he knew about the crime and did not tell authorities. Prosecutors recommended probation.
Instead, Zach Scruggs and his attorneys were stunned in the courtroom when U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. sentenced him to more than a year.
“Not only did we expect probation, nobody goes to prison for misprision of a felony. So it was a pretty shocking turnaround that day,” Zach Scruggs’ lawyer, former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, said Thursday.
“If he found out anything had been done, what was he going to do, call the police on his father?” Moore said.
The judge, however, said during sentencing that Zach Scruggs was caught on tape discussing the wording of a corrupt court order they wanted the judge to issue.
It “was just clear that you not only knew what was going on, you were participating in what was going on,” Biggers said. “You helped write that order.”
Still, Moore says, Zach Scruggs “certainly had nothing to do with bribing a judge. They had very little, if any, proof that Zach was involved at all.”